09 May 2014

Wish You Were Here: Grassington Leg!

Wish You Were Here has got off to a great start with ‘The Ballad of Grassington’ written by Grassington residents of all ages on Saturday 3 May. Thanks to Grassington Festival for hosting!

You can listen to ‘The Ballad of Grassington’ (pronounced ‘Gurston’ so we’re told, by locals in the know) here http://www.nymaz.org.uk/listen. The song was written and recorded by the good people of Grassington, with Rich Huxley who explains the process…

‘On Monday 28 April, we went to two Grassington schools gathering answers to questions like:

- What would you tell travelling visitors about Grassington?
- What’s great about Grassington?
- What do you love about Grassington?
- What are the things that make Grassington Grassington?

In the afternoon we went to Gills Top, a residential care home for older people, and spoke with the residents there about Grassington life through the years. We talked with the residents there of generations of families living in Grassington, about what’s changed, about their favourite memories of Grassington.

Come Saturday 3 May, it was the recording day. Our challenge was to write and record a song in a day. We had guitarists, ukulele players, children, mums, singers, people of all ages… and this is the result.’

The Ballad Of Grassington
by the good people of Grassington…with Rich Huxley, Rebecca Gross and Anna Snow

Verse 1
Where the River Wharfe meanders through the limestone of the dales
We’d dare to run down Jacob’s Fold past the Old Hall to Wood Lane
Stebden and Elbolton, Langerton and Kail
And disappearing Swinden. These reef knolls mark our Dale

From Colne to Keighley, Baildon, Bingley, Hull’s not where I’ll stay
I love every single stone of home. This is where I’ll lay

Verse 2

Rooted here for generations. Traditions handed down.
I’d watch my Grandad work. Bulb after bulb goes in the ground
Yellow daffodils bring back childhood memories.
Walk hand in hand with Edgar Darwin. Forever I’ll hold him with me.


Verse 3
Tom Lee, the local blacksmith, killed the doctor for his pay,
Threw the body in the river and took refuge in the cave.
Th’apprentice lad reported Tom, and police then took him in,
They hung him from the pack horse bridge, his body left to swing.


We built this place of sandstone
Down from the mines at Yarmbury
Where the lead-bound barren landscape
Tells me I am Home
Tells me I am Home

Verse 4
Down the Sani, to Low Mill, past the falls to Boiled Egg Row
Up to Grass Words - [Shout] “what a view!”. The secret Lady’s Slipper grows
The flowing ice blue water, tempting us to swim
Jumping in and frantic splashing, the freezing cold sets in

From Colne to Keighley, Baildon, Bingley, Hull’s not where I’ll stay
I love every single stone of home. This is where I’ll lay

Extended Chorus to finish
From Colne to Keighley, Baildon, Bingley, Hull’s not where I’ll stay
I love every single stone of home. This is where I’ll layyyyyyy
This is where I’ll lay.

You can read more about The Ballad Of Grassington and how it was made at: richhuxley.com/2014/05/wish-you-were-here/

The song-writing baton has now been passed to the next location - Pateley Bridge. To get involved, check out the other songwriting workshops at: http://www.nymaz.org.uk/http://www.nymaz.org.uk/wish-you-were-here

Delivered by NYMAZ in partnership with Accessible Arts & Media, Grassington Festival, Harrogate International Festivals, Helmsley Arts Centre, Live Music Now and Musicport, commissioned by Yorkshire Festival.

Yorkshire Festival 2014 is the first ever arts festival to precede the Tour de France, the world’s biggest annual sporting event. For full details of the programme go to www.yorkshirefestival.co.uk.

Yorkshire Festival 2014 is backed by Welcome to Yorkshire, Yorkshire Water and Arts Council England as well as Local Authorities across the county.

NYMAZ also gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ernest Cook Trust for Wish You Were Here.


  back to news listings